Future articles on Forge’s origins are planned, but for now, here’s the ‘need to know’ stuff:
- Along with Hazelwood Integrated Primary in north Belfast, Forge was the first integrated primary school in Northern Ireland, opening its doors in 1985.
- In September 1985 there were 35 children and 4 members of staff, including Judy Heaney who still works here as a classroom assistant and administrator. (You can read an interview with her in the Interviews section.)
- There was much opposition at the time, but some very committed parents believed in what they were doing and kept going. Politically, the climate is so different now that it’s hard to appreciate the scale of the obstacles faced over twenty years ago. The founding parents gave a lot of time, money and effort, and we have much to thank them for. (Mary Connolly, an ex-governor present at the time tells some of the story in the Interviews section. Click here.)
- In 1993 Forge moved from its original site on Balmoral Avenue, to its current location off the Ormeau Road.
- Forge is growing. There are currently 40 children in P1, and 39 children in P2 (2 small classes in each year). Class sizes from P3 to P7 differ, but they are generally around 30. The pre-school is also at capacity (24 children) for the third year running.